3,366 trees to be cleared for airport metro works

3,366 trees to be cleared for airport metro works, public has short time to have a say

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been notifying the tree clearance requirement for the airport corridor for more than two months

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

As many as 3,366 trees will be cleared to build a part of the metro corridor from Central Silk Board to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and the members of the public have less than 10 days time to respond to the issue.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been notifying the tree clearance requirement for the airport corridor for more than two months, as per the applications submitted by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).

On April 30, in the middle of the lockdown, the BBMP had notified the proposal to clear 1,026 trees between Kodibeesanahalli to Byappanhaalli Depot. Following opposition from activists, the deadline was deferred to "10 days after the lifting of the lockdown", which will now mean June 30.

On June 23, the BBMP uploaded two more proposals by BMRCL, one each for Phase 2A and 2B. To build the remaining stretch of the Phase 2A between Central Silk Board and Kodibeesanahalli, the metro authority has sought to clear 833 trees.

In yet another proposal, the BMRCL has sought to clear 1507 trees between Kasturinagar and Kempapura near Hebbal. One or more notifications are likely to be issued to fell the trees on the remaining part of the line between Kempapura and KIA.

Over the last few months, the Centre and the state governments have treated the 58.19-km airport corridor as a single project. Even when considered as two lines, the piecemeal notifications for each line has been questioned by activists.

Rajani Santosh, an activist from Jayanagar, has also written to the BBMP Deputy Conservator of Forests objecting to the erroneous GPS coordinates published in the notification dated April 30. She had also questioned the piecemeal notifications, "Is the metro splitting the same project into multiple packages for ease of construction or ease of public and forest department approvals," she had asked.

Activist Dattatreya T Devare, who has taken the BMRCL to court for piecemeal notifications, said it was a difficult task for the public to trace the trees marked for felling and file objections during the pandemic but hoped that more people will take part in the efforts to conserve the remaining greenery of the city.

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